Smartleese Creative

Speaker, L&D


SmartLeese Creative

Improv Emissaries & Creative Connectors

From on-the-spot improvisational inspiration to custom entertainment creations for business events, Lee Smart and Lindsay Leese of SmartLeese Creative have delivered hundreds of live shows, keynote presentations, training sessions and corporate entertainment productions. As a duo, Lindsay and Lee draw upon their know-how as improvisers and comedic performers to deliver fun, engaging and interactive sessions which use improvisational techniques to develop communication, collaboration, adaptability, innovation and storytelling skills vital to succeeding in the business world.

Both are alumni of The Second City, the renowned improvisation and sketch comedy theatre, and each have had extensive individual careers. You may recognize their faces from stage, television, film and commercials. Professional acting credits can be viewed by searching their names on the on the Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB).

SmartLeese Creative has provided their speaking, training and creative services to hundreds of corporations, businesses and event planners across Canada for over twenty years.

To learn more about their keynote presentations click on “Speaking” in the Topics section below. To see examples of SmartLeese Training Workshops click on “L & D Workshops”.

SmartLeese also includes “PitchCraft” which provides presentation skills training and workshops. Click on “Communication and Presentation Skills” on the “L & D Workshops” tab to view PitchCraft’s “On Your Feet” workshop.


The Improvisational Mindset for Business

Worldwide organizations and business schools are recognizing that the skills distinguishing successful business people are the very same skills that are used by professional improvisers. Improvisation is an undeniably effective technique with wide-ranging business and social applications. The Improv advantage provides a competitive edge in a world that is both unpredictable and depends on the strength of relationships.

Learn to unleash your innate improvisational abilities. Think on your feet. Collaborate and contribute. Enhance rapport-building skills. Tap into creativity on demand. Take risks and develop resilience. Adapt quickly to change and disruption. Turn adversity into advantage.

Differentiate yourself with the Improv mindset. Have some serious fun.

Participants actively engage in improvisation-based experiential exercises followed by focused reflection in order to increase knowledge, develop skills and gain confidence. Sessions include entertaining Improv demonstrations and audience participation. 60 – 90 minute sessions are tailored to support client objectives and draw from the topics below.

Intro to The Improv Mindset

  • Learn the method, philosophy and application of the guiding principle of improvisation: “Yes And”

Communication and Rapport Building

  • Understanding behaviours that help and hinder rapport
  • Giving and receiving information effectively
  • Practicing active and empathic listening
  • Recognizing unconscious bias
  • Valuing diverse perspectives

Collaboration and the Collective Approach

  • Fostering trust and mutual support
  • Moving from individual to shared success
  • Promoting equal and full participation
  • Cultivating consensus
  • Cooperatively influencing business strategy

Creativity and Innovation

  • Applying the improvisational process for idea generation and exploration
  • Moving beyond your comfort zone
  • Exploring the benefits of spontaneity and reserving judgement
  • Connecting disparate ideas to make innovative discoveries
  • Recognizing the value of ‘failure’ within the creative process

Adaptability

  • Embracing the unexpected
  • Becoming more agile and adaptable
  • Building resilience
  • Developing tolerance for ambiguity
  • Increasing the capacity to shift perspective

Leadership and Engagement Strategies

  • Fostering a culture of support, appreciation and recognition
  • Discovering the advantage of both giving and taking control
  • Promoting engagement, ownership and contribution
  • Addressing negativity and overcoming resistance
  • Cultivating personal presence and building courage

Presentation Skills and Storytelling

  • Delivering authentic and relevant presentations with credibility, confidence and passion
  • Reading and responding to your audience
  • Practicing positive body language and non-verbal communication
  • Transforming data into stories
  • Engaging your audience

Building Client Centric Relationships with The Improv Advantage

As institutions strive to differentiate themselves from their competitors, they’re recognizing that the key to winning is the ability to develop successful client centric relationships.

So, how can improvisational skills help your people develop trusted, long-term relationships with clients and colleagues?

 Here’s how. The skills improvisers use to connect, collaborate and contribute onstage, are the very same ones needed by business professionals to cultivate strong client centric relationships. Both require the ability to build rapport, share ideas, adapt quickly to change and innovate to remain relevant.

Professional improvisers and corporate trainers Lee Smart and Lindsay Leese of SmartLeese Creative believe improvisation and business go hand in hand. Improvisation is much more than the ability to ‘think on one’s feet.’ It’s a powerful methodology for communicating, collaborating and creating with practical business applications.

For the past two decades, SmartLeese Creative has been invited by organizations from a wide range of business sectors to share their fun, engaging and undeniably effective improvisation-based presentations all over North America.

Their lively, interactive 60-minute session entertains with live improv demonstrations and educates by taking audiences ‘behind the scenes’ to learn and experience first-hand how the methods of improvisation strengthen client centric relationships.

There’s lots of laughter, animated exchanges and relevant insights throughout the presentation. Participants gain a common language, a fresh perspective and an immediately applicable process that enables them to focus on their client’s needs and by doing so, fulfill their own. That’s the Improv Advantage.

The ‘Improv Quotient’ for Leaders

It’s been said that a leader’s task is to get work done through other people. That approach can result in people feeling as though they are functionaries versus willing participants, running the risk of turning a team into disengaged automatons. It doesn’t matter how technically competent or how strategic the thinking is, if you’re leading and no one is following, then you’re just taking a walk.

There’s a better way. As ‘improvisation emissaries’, Lee Smart and Lindsay Leese (SmartLeese Creative) believe that a leader’s job is to create a culture that inspires others to successfully work together toward a shared goal. When managers model what they’d like to see in their team, they establish a connection that’s founded more on mutual respect and less on authority.

Improvisation is a vital combination of social and survival skills. Improv concepts and philosophies help leaders become aware of behaviours that help or hinder their ability to lead effectively.

With fun, interactive sessions, SmartLeese introduces improvisational methods and skills that provide an immediately usable process for participants to build rapport, collaborate, adapt to change, innovate, and be resilient.

The more developed a leader’s ‘Improv Quotient’, the more effective they are at moving their people in desired directions, creating a culture of contribution and bringing out the very best in their teams.

The Improvisational Mindset for Business

Worldwide organizations and business schools are recognizing that the skills distinguishing successful business people are the very same skills that are used by professional improvisers. Improvisation is an undeniably effective technique with wide-ranging business and social applications. The Improv advantage provides a competitive edge in a world that is both unpredictable and depends on the strength of relationships.

Learn to unleash your innate improvisational abilities. Think on your feet. Collaborate and contribute. Enhance rapport-building skills. Tap into creativity on demand. Take risks and develop resilience. Adapt quickly to change and disruption. Turn adversity into advantage.

Differentiate yourself with the Improv mindset. Have some serious fun.

Participants actively engage in improvisation-based experiential exercises followed by focused reflection in order to increase knowledge, develop skills and gain confidence. Sessions include entertaining Improv demonstrations and audience participation. 60 – 90 minute sessions are tailored to support client objectives and draw from the topics below.

Intro to The Improv Mindset

  • Learn the method, philosophy and application of the guiding principle of improvisation: “Yes And”

Communication and Rapport Building

  • Understanding behaviours that help and hinder rapport
  • Giving and receiving information effectively
  • Practicing active and empathic listening
  • Recognizing unconscious bias
  • Valuing diverse perspectives

Collaboration and the Collective Approach

  • Fostering trust and mutual support
  • Moving from individual to shared success
  • Promoting equal and full participation
  • Cultivating consensus
  • Cooperatively influencing business strategy

Creativity and Innovation

  • Applying the improvisational process for idea generation and exploration
  • Moving beyond your comfort zone
  • Exploring the benefits of spontaneity and reserving judgement
  • Connecting disparate ideas to make innovative discoveries
  • Recognizing the value of ‘failure’ within the creative process

Adaptability

  • Embracing the unexpected
  • Becoming more agile and adaptable
  • Building resilience
  • Developing tolerance for ambiguity
  • Increasing the capacity to shift perspective

Leadership and Engagement Strategies

  • Fostering a culture of support, appreciation and recognition
  • Discovering the advantage of both giving and taking control
  • Promoting engagement, ownership and contribution
  • Addressing negativity and overcoming resistance
  • Cultivating personal presence and building courage

Presentation Skills and Storytelling

  • Delivering authentic and relevant presentations with credibility, confidence and passion
  • Reading and responding to your audience
  • Practicing positive body language and non-verbal communication
  • Transforming data into stories
  • Engaging your audience

Improv Idea Lab

Target Audiences: Business Teams in Need of Fresh Ideas and Innovative Approaches

“If you want creative workers, give them time to play.” –John Cleese

Improv Idea Lab opens your team’s brains and attitudes with fun improvisational methods. The correlation between play and creativity has been proven, and Idea Lab creates the atmosphere and provides the tools to cook up fresh ideas – lots of them.

This workshop combines lively interactive improvisational methods with the goal of generating ideas which meet specific and relevant business objectives. Improv Idea Lab is designed to create a culture of innovation and transform the idea generation process.

Fun exercises foster dialogue, collaboration, and a functional sense of play. Participants are encouraged to suspend judgment and tap into their intuition. Spontaneous activities ignite creativity, trigger discoveries, and delight.

Improv Idea Lab provides an effective and enduring method to increase the quality and quantity of ideas. Your team will produce viable ideas, kick-starting practical applications and moving your team in a positive new direction.

"On Your Feet" Presentation Skills Workshop

Target Audiences: Executives, Managers, Public Relations, Marketing and Sales Professionals

“On Your Feet” is an engaging and constructive presentation skills workshop. Participants improve their ‘performance’ by experiencing fun, active presentation exercises, improvisational techniques and stagecraft tips designed to maximize a presenter’s confidence and style.

Individuals receive honest and supportive feedback to identify and build on performance strengths and minimize drawbacks. The “On Your Feet” workshop provides lasting, easy-to-apply skills and a safe, enjoyable opportunity to grow and develop as a communicator.

Train the Trainer Programme - Coaching the Foundations of Presentation Success

Target Audiences: Managers, Trainers, Human Resource Professionals

This customized training program prepares managers and internal trainers to share presentation performance skills with their team by learning to understand and experience the elements of a winning presentation, recognize presentation pitfalls, provide techniques to achieve a desired outcome, and develop their ability to give constructive feedback.

Specific areas in need of training are identified, and training is customized to meet specific needs and goals.